One of the common questions that people ask once they post bail for someone is if they ever get their money back. This can go both ways. You can either get your money or lose it depending on whether the offender complies with the terms of bail. However, if you paid an amount to a bail agent as premium, you do not get that money back as it serves as a fee for the services rendered. So what do you need to know?
Skipping a Court Date and Fleeing
If the offender misses their court date and flees, then you lose the money that you put up for the bond if you paid in cash. If you signed over collateral such as a title deed or a log book for the bail agent to post bond, then you also lose the collateral.
However, there is an exception to this. The court can decide to grant you a period of time to find the offender and bring him back to court. In this case, you can still get your money back. This option is entirely dependent on the mercy of the court. The offender could also be arrested by law enforcement or brought it by a hired bounty hunter. In this case, all you need to do is fill out paperwork at the police station and have your bond refunded. If the grace period elapses before you can comply, then your money is lost forever.
Showing Up for Court
Once the trial is over, you get your money back as long as the offender showed up in court. It does not matter whether they are found guilty or innocent. In this case, you also get your collateral signed over back to you by the bail agent since they get the money from the bail bond back.
Factors to Consider Before Posting Bail
Apart from the question about getting your money back, you also need to consider some other factors before posting bail for the offender. These include:
The Court Date
If the court date is in a day or two, then you can consider not posting bail for the offender. However, if the court date is some time away or even if there are multiple court dates, then you might consider posting bail regardless of the consequences if the offender decides to try and flee.
The Holding Space
If the holding cell is spacious and not crowded, the offender could end up staying there till their court date if it is in the near future. If the place is overcrowded, you might find that the offender will be transferred to a place that is less than ideal; probably even worse than the holding cell they were in before. The latter might prompt you to post bail.
At the end of the day, it is upon you to decide whether or not you will post bail. You might also not have money to pay the bail bond or any collateral to put up. Therefore, your ability to pay is also a crucial deciding factor.